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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to try a smaller ship than the mega liners and liked the itinerary. We had heard very positive things about Oceania Marina and it lived up to the hype. We found the ship beautiful - luxurious without being pretentious. We ... Read More
We wanted to try a smaller ship than the mega liners and liked the itinerary. We had heard very positive things about Oceania Marina and it lived up to the hype. We found the ship beautiful - luxurious without being pretentious. We loved that we weren't hounded by ship's photographers, that espresso drinks were complimentary and that we were given water when disembarking every day. Common areas like the library and lounges are just lovely and well designed. The food was fantastic. Even the buffet, which on most ship's mean lots of mediocre food, was fine dining in a beautiful atmosphere. The four specialty restaurants were truly great dining experiences. The O Life package gave us unlimited Internet, which is usually a real frustration at sea as well as 3 excursions for each of us. We did not book any other ship excursions because they are very expensive and easily booked private tours in those ports we did not do on our own. We were skeptical about whether we'd benefit from upgrading to Concierge level because it's the same stateroom as the Verandah, but we were thrilled - we stopped by the concierge lounge regularly (and got great assistance from concierge Elizabeth Nunes), loved the private terrace in the spa and were thrilled to have our laundry done three times (so clothes were our pre-cruise stay in Athens were washed and we had clean clothes for our post-cruise stay in Rome). Embarkation and debarking were the fastest and easiest we ever experienced. I feel sorry for anyone who found fault with Marina because I can't imagine anything that would make them happy. We loved every minute of it and can't imagine returning to previous cruise lines, which include Celebrity, NCL, Princess, Royal Caribbean, etc. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (over 40 cruises) and Oceania in particular (over 15 cruises). I will start out by saying we love Oceania and have 4 more cruises on them currently booked. I will not comment on my last cruise since ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (over 40 cruises) and Oceania in particular (over 15 cruises). I will start out by saying we love Oceania and have 4 more cruises on them currently booked. I will not comment on my last cruise since the ports are well covered elsewhere. Rather I will comment on Oceania in general. I am always confused by people who are not happy with an Oceania cruise because the items they complain about are exactly what Oceania is all about. They usually just did not do their homework. Here is what, in my opinion, is good about Oceania. Oceania’s raison d’être is food – and it almost never fails. It’s hard not to get an excellent meal at any of the venues. The specialty restaurants (especially Red Ginger on the two larger ships) are great. However, it seems the food has gone down a notch (particularly in the Main dining room) since Oceania was acquired by NCL The ships are small (4 Regatta class -600 passenger vessels and 2 Oceania class -1200 passenger vessels). They go to some unusual ports that the larger ships can’t get to. So you get itinerary’s that are better than most. The ships’ common areas are comfortable and have an elegant feel to them. The ships are uncrowded – no waiting on long lines like the larger ships. You don’t need reservations to eat except at the specialty restaurants. But you are guaranteed a certain number of reservations depending on the length of the cruise. Depending on your perspective – almost never any children. The passengers tend toward experienced travelers. Everything is usually included, even the specialty restaurants, except for alcohol. Their rewards program is very good – as you cruise more the benefits can be extraordinary (large ship board credits, free internet, free gratuities, and ultimately free cruises). The service is always excellent. Excellent fitness center (although crowed at times) and the wonderful Canyon Ranch Spa. Here is what, in my opinion, is not so good about Oceania: The entertainment is third rate. (except the small on-board entertainment staff are usually quite talented). The shows for the most part are just OK – and can’t compare to the shows on the larger ships. The ships are starting to show their age – the 4 smaller ships are old Renaissance Cruise Line R-Class ships built in the 1990s that have been refurbished (several times). Even the Marina, which was built 2011 needs a little freshening. The “new” Sirena is just an old R-class that became the Ocean Princess before finding its way to Oceania. We were on it recently and it’s hard to distinguish it from the other 3 Regatta class ships. The in-room entertainment system is just awful – you can get better on your flight to the cruise. By now they should have upgraded to on on-demand system. The Wi-fi is terrible – but this may be unavoidable since it goes through a satellite. The tours offered by the ship are grossly overpriced. You need to plan ahead and book you own tours. Depending on your perspective – the passengers tend toward seniors. Again - depending on your perspective – there are not a lot of ship board activities – the most common being ship board lectures and cooking classes. So – Oceania offers a specific cruise experience – and if it’s for you great Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
We just returned from a 26-day cruise on the Oceania Marina (back-to-back Athens to Civitavecchia and Civitavecchia to Miami). We've sailed on more than two dozen ships, but it was our first on Oceania. When we boarded the Marina, ... Read More
We just returned from a 26-day cruise on the Oceania Marina (back-to-back Athens to Civitavecchia and Civitavecchia to Miami). We've sailed on more than two dozen ships, but it was our first on Oceania. When we boarded the Marina, we were immediately impressed with the luxurious appearance of the ship and of our cabin (Concierge-level veranda). The bed was the most comfortable we've ever had on a ship and, together with its elegant headboard, could have held its own in a fine hotel. The bathroom was beautifully appointed with gray marble on the floor and the walls, and it had both a full-size bathtub and an extremely uncomfortable diminutive shower stall, smaller than a phone booth. The shower head is mounted directly above and may work well for shorter people. However, if you are tall, you will have to learn to contort your body and especially your neck to avoid hitting the shower head. Oceania's unquestionable strength is in its attention to food quality. From the baked goods at breakfast (comparable to those in a good boulangerie in France) to the top-notch specialty restaurants that carry no surcharge, we were dazzled by Oceania's culinary offerings. The service in all the restaurants is unfailingly attentive and efficient. Even the various chefs walk around the dining rooms periodically to make sure excellence reigns supreme. Add to the high quality of the cuisine a full Starbucks-style barista set up serving all sorts of specialty coffees at no charge and you get an idea of Oceania's strongest points. The food at the Terrace Cafe is superb as well. Next to it, yet another eatery, Waves, serves up made-to-order Kobe burgers and grilled pannini. We particularly enjoyed the traditional high tea service every afternoon accompanied by the sounds of an extremely talented string quartet, the Tatra Strings. We wish we could give equally high praise to the rest of the entertainment on board, but time and again the shows were disappointing. The small theatre is quite comfortable with ample leg room between the rows but lacks a state-of-the-art stage. In fact, Oceania calls the theatre a lounge which is probably more appropriate than calling it a theatre. Unfortunately, the quality of the performers is the poorest we've ever seen on a ship. On the other hand, the onboard activity program was quite good: language classes, photography classes, etc. There are other bizarre problems with the Marina. For some reason, the designers of the ship decided to put four elevators in the front of the ship and only two in the back. Can you guess where all the restaurants are? Yep, in the back. You can imagine the long waits at 6:30 PM when all the restaurants open and hundreds of passengers try to take one of two elevators to have dinner. To make matters worse, one of the two is periodically out of service for repairs. The cabin door locks have a nasty habit of resetting themselves randomly and they need someone from security to come and reprogram the lock completely. This is not a problem of cards getting demagnetized since it happened more than once to several cabins in our area simultaneously, including ours. Imagine getting back to your cabin at 6 PM to change for dinner only to find that you cannot get in. You go down, get new cards, and they don't work either. Then someone comes to take a look and leaves. Then security comes and reprograms your lock. Then someone else comes up with new cards. Now you've spent a half hour waiting to have the lock on your door fixed and you no longer have time to change for dinner because your reservation is for 6:30 PM. The Internet service on board is also frustrating. It is not only the most expensive we've ever encountered (as much as 95 cents per minute), but it also has a maddening habit of disappearing while one is on line, making it impossible to log out. The Internet manager tried his best to help during the limited hours he was on duty, but there were way too many instances when Internet service crashed for several hours. One of the oddest of Oceania's practices is the confiscation of all passports, allegedly for "immigration reasons." Nobody on the staff was able to explain to me why Celebrity, HAL, Princess, and other cruise lines don't see a need to confiscate all passports at boarding. The concierge on deck 5 became ornery (unusual among the generally ultra-polite staff) when I asked for my passport back, throwing all sorts of nonsensical excuses and scoffing at my point that no cruise line had ever taken my passport in over a dozen transatlantic crossings. I protested (in writing) and the head concierge contacted me and admitted that the passport confiscation was Oceania policy rather than governmental policy, but he could offer no logical explanation for the practice either. There are laundry facilities on every deck and each is equipped with a large-screen TV and with a comfortable couch and chilled mineral water. Speaking of water, all mineral waters are complimentary in both the dining rooms and the cabin. Passengers also get complimentary bottled water as they get off the ship at the various ports they visit. The ship has one small pool that is hardly used. Why? Because the water is ice-cold even on warm and sunny days. Shopping on board is limited and Oceania makes no claim that the prices are better than one would find back home. Draw your own conclusions. In a departure from other cruise lines, there are no photographers snapping pictures and then trying to sell them at exorbitant prices. However, Oceania does charge lofty prices for its excursions and for post-cruise transfers ($199 for a transfer from the port of Miami to Miami airport!). The bottom line? The Oceania Marina is a great ship if you are a foodie, but it falls short in many other areas: dismally bad elevator service, uncomfortable showers, and a lame entertainment program. And for me personally, the confiscation of the passports for the duration of the cruise is also a strong negative, particularly when Oceania staff either lies about the reason ("it's for immigration") or cannot provide a coherent explanation. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
First time cruiser with Oceania. We were not disappointed. The service and food reminded me of when I first starting taking cruises. We enjoyed being on a smaller ship and the lack of climbing walls, skating rinks, etc. It was pure bliss ... Read More
First time cruiser with Oceania. We were not disappointed. The service and food reminded me of when I first starting taking cruises. We enjoyed being on a smaller ship and the lack of climbing walls, skating rinks, etc. It was pure bliss being on the pool deck and not having children running up and down, screaming as they splashed each other. The main dining room was not well populated for lunch and breakfast. I guess that was people were either off on tours or in a hurry to catch a tour. We found it quite relaxing to eat there when we were not in a rush to see the port. The Terrace Cafe was great if you wanted to eat in a hurry or simply wanted to be up on deck. Loved the sushi and sashimi. Breakfast omelets were cooked perfectly every time we had one. I was not impressed though with the pancakes or French Toast. Our favourite restaurants were the Red Ginger and Jacques. We had Toulon substituted for Marseille at the last minute due to a strike. The cruise director did a terrific job of giving information so that those not an organized tour could enjoy the port. The market was fascinating to walk through. We did ship tours and private tours and since we have done both now know that we will book our own private tours from here on in. The private tours allowed enough time to take pictures and you did not feel as if you were being herded around like a flock of sheep. The beds were fantastic. Great sleeps. The cabin crew could not have been more helpful. We liked the separate shower to the tub and must admit that we did not use the tub much and preferred the shower. Wish they would ban cigars on board the ship even in the smoking areas. We quickly learned which side of the ship to walk on so that we did not have to smell them. The only thing we did not like was that there was several large alumni groups on board and they tended to book up the lounges so that others could not use them. It would have been nice if they had announced in the daily newspaper that a certain lounge would be closed for a certain time to accommodate groups. Read Less
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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